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  1. The "fast practice" thing really works! In just 2 sessions, I've gone from "hit the wall and can't get to performance tempo" to "got it" on several passages! Not sure how it will hold up in performance, as I really haven't had time to cement it, and the concert is tonight, but I can tell it works. It will help to use it on passages I haven't already wasted neurons on learning to do it the other way. Interestingly, this actually helps with intonation and bowing technique as well--I had feared the opposite. But since you just add one note at a time, you keep hearing it and fixing it, and by the time you add the next note, it's cemented that way. Ditto bowing. There is a section where there are slurred bites and then staccato, then slurred, then staccato. As the line build a up, those things are added as you go, and again, they are cemented in. In one really icky passage with shifting in and out of half position (which I find hard) I chunked it up a bit and then added the chunks together. But always at goal tempo. Before I haven't been able to get over 120 on these passages, no matter what I did--with this method I started at 125 and eventually had to make myself SLOW DOWN a tad, as I was getting ahead! This is the first real improvement I've had in this area. I felt all along that it was largely a problem with the brain, not the fingers. Now I have a tool! Science ROCKS! Thanks so much, robcat! :!)
  2. THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! I have actually been trying a little backchaining, as that is a method I know from animal training, and it's enabled me to get some passages I could not get otherwise. But I was slowing down. I know a good bit about cognitive learning (thanks to dog training) and will happily apply it! Everything this trombone guy says makes complete sense to me. THANK YOU!
  3. You can buy printed parts at Luck's ( https://lucksmusic.com/default.aspx . If it's in the public domain, try ISMLP ( https://imslp.org ). :-)
  4. I'm not about to post videos of me playing. Not for ANYTHING. Sorry! :-)
  5. It's like a little Easter egg--he knew only luthiers would see it. :-)
  6. The first time I played in front of a human being in 38 years was in my first lesson with my new teacher! It was entirely traumatizing, but I survived. The dogs and cats seem a little mystified, but they think anything I do is awesome. :-)
  7. DrRoadrash--do it! It has really stepped up my progress, if only due to abject terror. Having a definable goal has made me play outside my comfort zone, which has kept me moving forward I stead of stagnating. :-)
  8. I haven't noticed this, but I do use my "Tunable" app, which helps keep my intonation honest. :-)
  9. This thread has been useful for me. I have started practicing with a mute and got eat plugs for orchestra rehearsal so the brass players don't blow me into next week. :-)
  10. Thanks! This was very illuminating. Hope I didn't start The Great Purfling Crack Debate of 2018. ;-)
  11. I've been focusing on the hard parts. Fear, remember--fear! :-)
  12. I'm fascinated by what you guys do, but only know violins from playing them. So bear with me . . . I was wondering if purfling has a purpose other than ornamentation. Does it do anything to the sound? If so, what and how? I have seen you guys talking about integral bass bars. Are those carved directly into the violin, versus being glued on after the top is carved? Which is better and why? Thanks for alleviating my curiosity. I will ask more stupid violinist questions in future as they occur to me if that is OK.
  13. LOL--Yeah, it was a lot like that, although a concert would have been way worse! I attended one rehearsal without my fiddle, figuring I was going to have to audition, and I wouldn't be ready for THAT for months, so I was just checking things out and offering to help as librarian, etc. But everyone was all, "WHAT?? You didn't bring your violin??!?!" I was essentially shanghai'd. And now I would feel terribly guilty abandoning the seconds. I just hope the other 2 feel the same way and don't leave me twisting in the wind one day! I really was kind of panicking, and it WAS bad that first time, but the sky didn't fall just b/c I sucked, and I sucked less last night, so . . . . I'm looking at it all as a Good Thing. God knows abject terror caused me to practice some pretty tedious second violin parts A LOT the past week.
  14. Hi all -- You were all so nice when I originally posted about my return to the violin after so long away, so I wanted to update this thread. :-) I joined a community orchestra a few weeks ago, and last night was my second rehearsal. The first one was pretty hairy. I HAD practiced, but at the time, I was planning for my first concert to be the one in August, so I was mostly practicing that music. Then I realized that if I was going to attend July rehearsals at all, I'd need to know the July music, so I desperately started on that as well. In addition, I convinced my good friend, who had a long professional career (from which she is now largely retired) to accept the position of concertmaster with the orchestra--they wanted someone really good to help pull the strings together. And there are only 2 second violins w/out me. All of this meant that I pretty much HAVE to play in the July concert now. Anyway, that first rehearsal I was very much a deer in the headlights. Even bits I'd practiced I had a hard time playing under pressure. I reassured myself with the idea that surely this was as bad as it would be--it would get better. And it did! Last night I played SO much better, and it was my friend's first rehearsal with us as concertmaster, and wow that made a difference. I could hear her way over in the seconds, and I could tell that she was just pulling all of us along with her. :-) There are still fast bits I'm cheating on, but most of the time I was really playing! I'm serving as orchestra librarian as well, which is what I did way back in Youth Orchestra, so that's fun. My lessons are going well, too. My teacher is about 25 LOL, but I really like her and she's willing to work on whatever--orchestra music or the Bach A minor, or whatever I want to do. So all in all, much progress is being made! It's still frustrating sometimes, but I get past that and can definitely see that I'm getting what chops I had back, albeit slowly. Thanks to you all for your support!
  15. What is wrong with just using the little plastic tube thing that comes with the E string? :-)
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